Raychel’s family to get answers at last
HEARINGS into the death of Londonderry school girl Raychel Ferguson - who died in 2001 after fluids were maladministered in Altnagelvin - will finally get underway in Banbridge next week.
On Friday openings in relation to the clinical issues arising from the death of Raychel will be delivered by Senior Counsel to the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-related Deaths Ms Anyadike-Danes and by Senior Counsel for the Ferguson family, at 10.30am.
Raychel was given the wrong level of fluid required to treat dehydration and died from hyponatraemia - a disturbance caused by a shortage of sodium in the body - in the Royal Victoria Hospital after being treated in Altnagelvin in June 2001.
She died just 14 months after toddler Lucy Crawford died in similar circumstances in Fermanagh.
The oft-delayed Inquiry has already considered the deaths of Adam Strain, who died at the age of 4 years in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children on the 28th of November 1995, Claire Roberts, who died at the age of 9 years on the 23rd of October 1996 at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and Conor Mitchell, who died at the age of 15 in 2003.
It will hopefully mean answers at last for the Ferguson family who have been waiting for over a decade for the circumstances of Raychel’s death to be heard fully in a forum for justice.
In a previous statement mum Marie told the Sentinel: “As a mother I will regret till the day I die that I took Raychel to hospital that day. I blame myself that she died there. I was her mother and I should have protected her. Any mother will understand my feelings.
“My guilt wasn’t helped when some-one at her inquest asked me, ‘Why did you leave Raychel there and go home if she was so sick?.’ A cruel question for a grieving mother,” she explained.
But Marie countered this query with legitimate questions of her own: “My answer to that question is, ‘Why should I have worried about leaving my daughter in hospital with doctors and nurses who are there to save lives?’
“Why should I have doubted them when they said the way Raychel was feeling and reacting to her operation was normal, that I should go home, get some rest and not worry?
“Even though I expressed my concern to the medical staff that day about Raychel being very unwell, I was reassured when they told me she was fine.
“Who was I to argue with them? I had never had a child in hospital before and so placed my trust in the professionals. If the staff weren’t concerned then why should her parents be?” she asked.
After the openings on Friday oral evidence will then commence on Tuesday, February 5.
Providing there are no issues with the late disclosure of documents as has hampered some of the other hearings clinical and preliminary sessions on Raychel’s case will proceed through February and March.
The inquiry will adjourn in April and May before re-convening through June and July.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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